The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has sent a final rule to establish a permanent certification program for EHR technology to the Office for Management and Budget (OMB). Review by the OMB is a required step in the process to publish a final rule.
While there is no legislative deadline for the release of the rule, at the time the temporary certification program was finalized in June, ONC indicated it expected to publish the final rule for the permanent program this fall.
The rule, "Establishment of the Permanent Certification Program for Health Information Technology," outlines the permanent certification program for health information technology. Using certified (EHR) technology(s) is required for providers hoping to qualify for the meaningful use incentive dollars under the HITECH legislation.
In March, HHS sent a proposed rule for the establishment of two certification programs for purposes of testing and certifying EHRs---one temporary and one permanent.
Certification is used to provide assurance and confidence that an EHR technology or module will work as expected and have the capabilities necessary to meet meaningful use standards, according to ONC.